TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — The Florida House suspended its session Monday afternoon after learning several members attended the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where they may have come into contact with a lobbyist who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Florida Speaker of the House Jose Oliva tweeted those House members have isolated themselves while awaiting test results.
He identified the lawmakers as Rep. Thad Altman, R-Indialantic, Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach and Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami.
However, Oliva sent a correction stating, “McGhee and Donalds attended AIPAC. Not CPAC.”
McGhee then tweeted out his statement saying he is self-isolating in “an abundance of caution.” He is not showing symptoms and testing should take a day.
— Dem House Leader (@kionnemcghee) March 9, 2020
Oliva’s original tweet reads, “In an effort to set an example in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, and in an abundance of caution for their fellow Members and staff, Representatives Sabatini, Altman, McGhee, Donalds and Byrd, along with a staff member have voluntarily agreed to submit to testing after attending an event in Washington, D.C., where an attendee later tested positive. They have self-isolated pending return of results,” Oliva tweeted. The name of the staff member was not released.
“In an effort to set an example in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, and in an abundance of caution for their fellow Members and staff, Representatives Sabatini, Altman, McGhee, Donalds and Byrd, along with a staff member, have…1/6
— Jose Oliva (@RepJoseOliva) March 9, 2020
He also tweeted, “After leaving the event 10 days ago, Representatives Sabatini, Altman, McGhee, Donalds, Byrd and the staff member are NOT symptomatic, and they were not in direct contact at any time with the individual who tested positive for the virus. Furthermore, none of the Members or staff stayed at the same hotel nor did they attend any functions with the person who tested positive.”
Oliva said the House will “implement sanitation protocols, including sanitizing desks and common areas to ensure members, staff and the public are provided reasonable assurance of cleanliness. “Lastly, the House is following all CDC recommendations and working closely with the Department of Health,” he said.
Rep. Matt Gaetz — who last week wore a gas mask while voting on a coronavirus House bill also Tweeted Monday he is self-isolating after he came into contact with a Conservative Political Action Conference attendee 11 days ago who tested positive for COVID-19.
He says he does not have any symptoms and is expecting his test results soon.
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Meanwhile, two Republican members of Congress on Sunday announced they will self-quarantine after interacting with the individual who tested positive for the coronavirus at the CPAC.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona separately said they will take the step out of caution and don’t currently have any symptoms related to the pandemic.